DEFIANCE, OH (WTOL) - 2015 started off with a bang for Defiance. They won a thriller over their rivals from Napoleon. But after that, things went downhill.
They finished 2 and 8 and following the season, Jerry Buti retired after 23 years as head coach.
Taking over is Kevin Kline who spent last year as an assistant with the Bulldogs. Before that, he took the Bryan football program to new heights.
Now, he is doing his best to turn things around in Defiance.
"Coach Buti has done a tremendous job here for 23 years," says Kline. "But, for these guys that's all they really know. So, sometimes for these guys it's just doing things a bit of a different way."
"It's really hard, I'm used to running an all-run offense mainly," says Senior Quarterback Braden Frederick. "But, coming in, you've gotta learn different reads. It's different. It's challenging."
The quarterback in Kline's spread offense is the focal point. Right now, there is still question about who will start at quarterback. Senior Braden Frederick is battling with sophomore Javen Newton to be the guy on opening night. No matter who it is, they'll be counted on to play a major role on this team.
"I think that's a spot that's still pretty open," says Kline. "I like the way the kids are I wouldn't say competing, they all kind of help each other out. But we still don't have an answer on who that's gonna be yet."
"We've gotta learn how he likes things," says Frederick. "It's different coming in with a different coach. Everything's different, you've just gotta learn what he wants, how things are run correctly. That's just the hardest part, learning how things run together, how things click."
The Bulldogs open their season against Napoleon in the traditional River Rock Rivalry.